3550A firmware

For some reason the DVD writer doesn’t perform all too well as it used to be.
Doesn’t read DVDs that have been burnt by the very same writer.
I can’t copy DVD and I can’t burn images.

I never upgraded the firmware so i’m thinking of doing so though I still have my warranty expiring only at the end of next month.

They instruct me to use all these kinds of safety precautions :

Connect drive to secondary IDE channel as Master
Disconnect all slave hardware from IDE secondary Master
Use standard UDMA-2 IDE cable
Update in Windows “Safe Mode”
Under Windows 2000 & XP login as administrator
Update without DMA mode, under Windows XP & 2000 in the device manager - “IDE ATA/ ATAPI controllers”, you can switch from DMA to PIO mode
Disconnect all external USB/ FireWire devices.
Deactivate virusscanners, active desktop programs and packetwriting agents

Is it really necessary?

You first should fix the current problems before trying to update the firmware…

if i upgraded the firmware , is it easy to tell?

Yes, it is easy. Go to the top of this forum and find thread on binflash. Once you are there scroll down to binflash and click on that, then go to firmware, once you are there click on 3550/3551 and the best one IMO is Dee’s 1.y6 it gives you bitsetting and media speed ups. It will void your warranty, but its worth it. Make sure you use RPC1 so your burner will be region free. It is pretty easy to do I had no idea what I was doing when I flashed my firmware and it was very successfull.

Since your warranty is about to expire you might want to send it back for repair or replacement. Then update your firmware on new or fixed unit. Then use Dee’s 1.y6 Rpc1 FW.

Call the OEM and ask for a fix they might give you a brand new drive.